Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Great Jesus Debates

Early Church history is a passing interest of mine. After all, what happened in the first couple of centuries really laid the foundation for what followed. While we may not think actively about it, a lot of what gets taught in churches nowadays are an outgrowth of the debates that raged in the early centuries.

In his book, The Great Jesus Debates, Douglas W. Johnson, examines four debates that raged in the early centuries of the Church, namely the Gnostics, the Arian controversy, the Christological debates between the schools of Antioch and Alexandria, and the war of words between Augustine and Pelagius.

I had to study these controversies in the Seminary ten years ago, so Johnson's book was a good review for me, especially for the whole Alexandria/Antioch arguments. But like I said, this is a good, easy to read book that examines what was at stake as the early Church Fathers dealt with Gnostics, Arians, and so on. If you've got even a slight interest in where the Church came from, this is one for you.

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